February 17, 2022

Grace Lavery

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes celebrated academic, writer, and activist GRACE LAVERY for a discussion of her debut memoir, Please Miss: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Penis. She will be joined in conversation by TORI BEDFORD, reporter for the GBH News Dorchester Bureau.


Grace Lavery is a reformed druggie, an unreformed omnisexual chaos Muppet, and 100 percent, all-natural, synthetic female hormone monster. As soon as she solves her “penis problem,” she begins receiving anonymous letters, seemingly sent by a cult of sinister clowns, and sets out on a magical mystery tour to find the source of these surreal missives. Misadventures abound: Grace performs in a David Lynch remake of Sunset Boulevard and is reprogrammed as a sixties femmebot; she writes a Juggalo Ghostbusters prequel and a socialist manifesto disguised as a porn parody of a quiz show. Or is it vice versa? As Grace fumbles toward a new trans identity, she tries on dozens of different voices, creating a coat of many colors.

With more dick jokes than a transsexual should be able to pull off, Please Miss gives us what we came for, then slaps us in the face and orders us to come again.

About Author(s)

Grace Lavery is an associate professor of English at University of California, Berkeley. A prominent public intellectual and activist, she has contributed to the Los Angeles Review of BooksAutostraddle, the New InquiryThem, the GuardianForeign Policy, and Slate. She’s been sober since January 2016 and “full time” as a trans person since March 2018. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Tori Bedford (she/her/hers) covers Boston's neighborhoods, including Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan for the GBH News Dorchester Bureau. Her education reporting has been featured in the Emmy-nominated GBH special project Covid and the Classroom. Previous experience includes television reporting on 'Greater Boston,' music, arts and culture coverage for GBH Music/Front Row Boston, producing Boston Public Radio, and the All Rev’d Up podcast, and contributing as a radio host to Curiosity Live, a weekly radio program from the GBH Curiosity Desk.